I love digging deep for intriguing wide receiver prospects. Some of the receivers from big college programs produce very little over the course of their college career yet get drafted in the early/mid rounds of the NFL draft. Fellow rotoviz.com contributor Jon Moore and I talked about many of the well-known receiver prospects with flaws in this episode of my fantasy football podcast. On the flip, it is about finding the absolute best of the best with small school receivers.
There is little room for error to be a late round pick or an undrafted free agent that gets a legitimate shot on an NFL roster.
In my last article, I showcased Brandon Kaufman as a name to remember for dynasty league owners. This time, Eric Rogers is the uber-productive college receiver of note. Rogers is from California Lutheran University, a Division III program with just over 2,500 students. The school is one of the few with different mascots for the male and female athletic teams (The Kingsmen and The Regals).
To be honest, I had not heard of Eric Rogers until his Pro Day earlier this month. With more than 11 NFL teams sending representatives to the event, Rogers ran the 40 in 4.50 and had a broad jump of over 10 feet to go along with a 37-inch vertical. That spurred me to investigate Rogers’ production. Considering the level of competition down in Division III, I needed to see dominance.
*YD MS – Percentage of team passing yards
*TD MS – Percentage of team passing touchdowns
First off, I like that Rogers progressed all four years. After adapting the college level in 2009, he improved quite a bit as a sophomore. He did not stop there as he set new high-water marks in 2011 and then in 2012. Secondly, Rogers was dominant as a sophomore. That is not very common among even the best college receivers. As a senior, Rogers was very consistent from week-to-week as well. His WORST game of the season was a 5-83-1 effort where he still had nearly 40% of the team’s yards. Rogers had at least nine receptions in 7-of-10 games and closed the year with multiple touchdowns in 7-of-8 games. In addition to all of his passing game work, Rogers added three touchdowns on the ground despite just five carries on the season.
Here are the comparable players for Eric Rogers in terms of size, speed, and production:
This is a pretty impressive list of comparable prospects. Green and Williams were top-10 selections in the NFL draft and Rueben Randle was no slouch in terms of being a strong prospect in last year’s class. It is tough to get excited about a prospect without having at least one comparable player that showed an impact in the NFL in their three seasons. Rogers has no problem in that regard.
*Fantasy Points-Per-Game with PPR scoring in each of their first three seasons
Green and Williams both were starting-caliber fantasy receivers out of the gate, which shows the potential of a player with Rogers’ athletic and college production profile.